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#1 ZachMiller   User is offline

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Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 10 September 2015 - 11:21 AM

Hi, my name is Zachary Miller. I am a college student in an introductory engineering class. We have an assignment to reach out to someone in the field we want to go into, and ask them a few questions of our choosing.
So here are my questions, if anyone in the field would be kind enough to answer them:
1) What should a Software Engineer coming out of college be doing to enter the workforce?
2) How stable is the job you're in right now, and how long do you think you'll be working for the same company?
Thank you for your time!

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Replies To: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

#2 ybadragon   User is offline

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 10 September 2015 - 11:27 AM

1. Practice. Make Connections (LinkedIn, go to social gatherings, etc...). Build a portfolio.
2. Very stable. I'll be working for them until a better opportunity comes along, not necessarily monetary opportunity. It could be monetary, it could be growth opportunities, it could be personal.
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#3 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 10 September 2015 - 02:21 PM

Be able to think a problem through. Don't come in with the attitude of, you know everything and they are doing it all wrong. Production level code is different than a collegiate development assignment. You should always be learning.

For now, I'm happy where I am. I will probably be here a long while.

This post has been edited by astonecipher: 10 September 2015 - 02:22 PM

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#4 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 10 September 2015 - 05:51 PM

I really wish professors would specify that this assignment should be performed in person, by actually talking to a few programmers, and not by just shotgunning the question on some forum.

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1) What should a Software Engineer coming out of college be doing to enter the workforce?


The single most important thing? Learn to write good unit tests, and make them part of your workflow. You don't have to be full-on TDD, but you should certainly feel uncomfortable writing code if there are no tests to back you up. There are plenty of next-most-important things, though.

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2) How stable is the job you're in right now, and how long do you think you'll be working for the same company?


Who can say? We're a non-profit, but we have great support, and we're about the biggest thing going in our sector of the marketplace. That being said, if you're a programmer you learn to keep a resume hot, just in case.
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#5 macosxnerd101   User is online

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:00 PM

We have a Q&A with the experts which should be of some service.
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#6 Martyr2   User is offline

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 10 September 2015 - 07:14 PM

1) The other posters have really given great advice... portfolio and to expect that industry code is very different than academic code. Many times you will be expected to be a maintenance programmer at first. Here is some sloppy code, now fix it and make it better! That kind of thing. To help with this, I suggest the book Code Complete 2 by Steve McConnell and the book Clean Code by Robert Martin. These books teach you techniques of code design and with them you can make any code better.

2) My job is pretty stable since I pretty much designed most of the systems my department uses to conduct business and the one that keeps it running. But I am keeping my options open for bigger opportunities.
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#7 ZachMiller   User is offline

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 11 September 2015 - 05:24 AM

View Postjon.kiparsky, on 10 September 2015 - 05:51 PM, said:

I really wish professors would specify that this assignment should be performed in person, by actually talking to a few programmers, and not by just shotgunning the question on some forum.

Hi Jon. The truth is I was supposed to email someone in the field, but I had trouble finding an email address. Thank you for your insightful answers, as well as the other posters in this thread.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 11 September 2015 - 06:50 AM
Reason for edit:: trimmed quoted text

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#8 birko19   User is offline

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Re: Any Computer Engineers willing to answer a few questions?

Posted 20 September 2015 - 06:35 PM

View PostZachMiller, on 10 September 2015 - 11:21 AM, said:

Hi, my name is Zachary Miller. I am a college student in an introductory engineering class. We have an assignment to reach out to someone in the field we want to go into, and ask them a few questions of our choosing.
So here are my questions, if anyone in the field would be kind enough to answer them:
1) What should a Software Engineer coming out of college be doing to enter the workforce?
2) How stable is the job you're in right now, and how long do you think you'll be working for the same company?
Thank you for your time!


Please keep in mind that your title mentions Computer Engineers but you're clearly looking for Software Engineers' answer. These are two different disciplines that do have some overlap with certain subjects but are not the same.

Computer Engineering is a mix of some Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Software Engineering lacks the Electrical Engineering part but is closer to Computer Science. Generally here's how to view it:

Computer Engineering: If you like building and designing electronics and programming their functionality (Think of Robotics as an example).

Software Engineering: If you like writing code but also into system analysis and design (Think of building web systems like Ebay or Amazon for example).

This post has been edited by birko19: 20 September 2015 - 06:36 PM

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